civ·​i·​lized | \ ˈsi-və-ˌlīzd How to pronounce civilized (audio) \

Definition of civilized

: characteristic of a state of civilization civilized society especially : characterized by taste, refinement, or restraint

Examples of civilized in a Sentence

A civilized society must respond to crime with fairness and justice. Stop yelling. We have to be more civilized about this. Try to act like a civilized human being! a civilized way to spend the evening
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Recent Examples on the Web Parell and Potter wondered about their next steps — this time, in the civilized world. Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2021 More than a century ago, the barren mountaintop above Altadena was transformed into a resort where the wealthy came to party in a civilized manner, breathe fresh air and immerse themselves in nature — all without setting foot on a trail. Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2021 In order to exterminate and subjugate the barbaric, the armies and pioneers representing the civilized world used gunpowder and terror. Jd Linville, Variety, 2 Nov. 2021 Each of these stages was more productive and more civilized than the last, but also less equal and less free. George Scialabba, The New Republic, 1 Nov. 2021 True to Buckley’s legacy, NRI’s debate series at Old Parkland provides a forum for civilized debate and discussion — lessons that important legacy still teaches us today. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 3 Oct. 2021 That doesn’t mean those pushing for more civilized dialogue are wasting their time trying to persuade people to be more tolerant of opposing views. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Sep. 2021 Here, with me in the back of a perfectly civilized natural wine haunt on the final summer Friday night, are the last two twenty-somethings who actually want to be in publishing. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 9 Sep. 2021 The ultimate current model is the AMG G63, a luxury SUV capable of climbing a 45-degree grade and tearing up the tarmac while delivering a surprisingly civilized ride. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 7 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civilized.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of civilized

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for civilized

Time Traveler

The first known use of civilized was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near civilized



civilized world

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Statistics for civilized

Last Updated

15 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Civilized.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for civilized



English Language Learners Definition of civilized

: marked by well-organized laws and rules about how people behave with each other
: polite, reasonable, and respectful
: pleasant and comfortable

More from Merriam-Webster on civilized

Nglish: Translation of civilized for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civilized for Arabic Speakers


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